Wednesday, May 24, 2017

How I spent my money...

On our way home yesterday, we enjoyed lunch with Ray's brother and his lovely lady. It's always fun to spend time with these two.

Thought I should include a picture of us too. Can you tell the guys are brothers? Ray is older by 14 months.

I promised to share my treasures from our trip to Missouri Star Quilt Company. I went with a list this time and didn't stray too much!

First, I have four layer cakes for children's quilts.

This flannel layer cake is for a baby quilt with the yellow dot flannel as a border. The orange/red Minkee (in the background) will be the back and the orange/red fabric on the right will be the binding.

The two navy flannel pieces are for borders on some flannel quilts that are works in progress. The knitting sheep fabric was an impulse purchase. I think it will make a great knitting project bag or two.
 

I needed a few notions; I really did need the needles and the batting tape. The quilting gloves will be used when my current ones wear out. Those red glasses were already used today! They help see the tonal value of different colors.

I didn't plan to buy clothing but I did! I really wanted the dark teal t-shirt but they only had very large sizes. The pink shirt is a t-shirt while the gray shirt is a hooded sweatshirt.

I was given the bracelet chain on the right when I walked into the main shop. You can purchase charms but you get free ones when you spend a certain amount at one time. I evidently spent the required amount three times!

On our way home, we stopped in Cameron, Missouri at Crossroads Quilting. I bought this paper piecing pattern. This was an impulse purchase but something I've thought about doing for some time. I hope to begin it later in the summer.

Yesterday we stopped at Delve in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I wanted more of the fabric that is on the far left and they had it! The yellow fills a spot in my stash while the piece on the right was just neat - definitely an impulse purchase! 

Now we are home - we are unpacked, the laundry is done, we have groceries, and we are on the move. Yup, the calendar has something on it for most days. I also have a couple of big non-quilting projects coming up - we are back to reality! 

I did find a little time to begin that baby quilt today. I hope to have it done or very close to done by the end of June.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Missouri Star Quilt Company visit

We had a beautiful day for traveling yesterday although it was windy. Gas in Missouri was just $1.98. Nice!

When we arrived in Chillicothe, Missouri, we were able to take a walk before dinner. We once again stayed at the Comfort Inn there - it's very nice! The owners have now built a Fairfield Inn next door so there should be plenty of rooms.

This morning we headed to Hamilton; it's about a 30-40 minute drive. We wanted to be there when the stores opened at 9. We were a few minutes early and met a couple we had said good morning to at the motel. They were from northern Michigan. 

The shopping began and I was armed with a list! I was able to find most things. I'll share pictures of fabric when we get home and unpacked.

Lots of people were arriving for the 1st Quilt Academy which begins tomorrow. I was so surprised to run into Laura, owner of Prairie Star Retreat Center - she lives 17 miles from me! Later I ran into Sue, a long arm quilter that I often see at Prairie Star retreats.

We had to stop by Man's Land. Ray didn't stay long - I think he wanted to see everything and he did carry all of my packages along with an umbrella!

A new mural was in progress.

The first drops of rain started about 11AM and it didn't stop. We had lunch as the Mama Hawk's, a small bakery that is new since we last visited. Just as we paid for our order, the power went out. Ray had ordered a chicken salad sandwich, I had decided on a panini, and we both were getting soup. Some quilters from California join us as we waited. Most everyone was visiting across the room so our wait went quickly. I think the power was off for 15-20 minutes.

After we left MSQC, we headed to Cameron, Missouri and visited Crossroads Quilting. It's a great shop with some very nice people working there. Then we headed on north to our rental that is responsible for this trip. You can read about that here

The rain stopped a while before we arrived - I'm not sure it even rained here. The sun may come out after while. I am sitting with my feet up and Ray is outside taking photos. We are in a small barn that is all done in a rustic, outdoorsy decor. 

There are gardens, a pond, some little waterfalls, more flowers, interesting landscape... This place is gorgeous - both inside and out. 





It is very comfortable and Ray is loving it. He just got a great picture of a bull frog and a water lily before moving on to the clematis. I think he's taken over 50 photos already!

I'm so glad we are here to enjoy this place. It has been a great trip so far and tomorrow we get to meet some family for lunch - we are looking forward to another great day!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Teal and Black Quilt done; Outside work is moving along

All projects seem to be moving forward around here.

First is the Teal and Black Quilt. I really like this and at the moment, it resides in my living room so I can look at it. Will it end up as a donation quilt? I haven't decided yet.

I saw this on Facebook one day and knew I had to make it. I found the pattern at Quilting is more fun than Housework. I used leftover squares of blacks and brights. The teal blue fabric was in my stash and really pops with the black. 

The quilt is 48 1/2" by 64 1/2". I used Dream Cotton for the batting and Aurifil thread for the piecing and quilting. The quilting is squares echoing the parts of the large square blocks. 

The back is black with a small white dot. I added the leftover teal blue to add a little interest.
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Our concrete guy, Alan, worked so hard to get our project finished. The concrete is done! Alan was constantly working around rain storms. Once he dug up swampy dirt and replaced it with dry stuff. More than once, he replaced very wet gravel with dry gravel. He hand troweled every inch of our new concrete and there was a lot. 
front view
We have had inches of rain since the concrete was put down by the house (way at the back in the above photo) and we haven't had any water in our basement. Before, when we had a lot of rain, we always got tiny rivers in the basement of our 100 year old house. I've wondered many times if the concrete near the house was causing water to run into the foundation. Now we know it was and we know it's been fixed - YAY!


Back of house view
The drain in the garage (middle of the standing water in the photo) gets uncovered tomorrow. 

We are now in the concrete curing mode meaning we wait. In 2 - 3 weeks when heavy vehicles can safely drive on the concrete, the work on the garage will begin. Until then, Ray will spend lots of time in the yard trying to figure out how he wants to redo the gardens and the parts of the lawn that have been destroyed. 
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Ray signed up for a photography workshop in Kansas City in another week or so. I thought it sounded wonderful because we could stop at Missouri Star Quilt Company on our way home. Well, the workshop was cancelled. We were able to cancel our Airbnb rental near Kansas City but we weren't that lucky with the VRBO rental near Hamilton, MO. So instead of forfeiting our fee, we're going to go to Hamilton and shop at MSQC. I think we really did get lucky with the VRBO rental's refund policy!


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I noticed this today. 

Ray was photographing flowers (lilacs) last night while I was gone. Guess he needed a black background. The black fabric is from my stash - he just finds whatever he needs. Most of the time I don't even know he's used something because he puts it back before I miss it.

I think I'd better work on my list for Missouri Star...

Hope you all enjoy the weekend. 
Happy Mother's Day


Friday, May 5, 2017

Small Quilt, Featherweight Bag, Rain Delay

This small donation quilt is 30" by 42". The fabric for this quilt was gifted to me as part of my friend Nancy's stash. The top is a small panel made of soft flannel.

The middle of the panel has butterflies and fireflies so I free-motion quilted a stipple with butterflies and fireflies - a first for me.  I quilted straight lines in the borders.

The animals around the edge of the panel match the animals on the back - they are obviously the same fabric line. The back is also flannel.

The binding is a green cotton from my stash. I used Dream Cotton batting and a turquoise Aurifil thread to quilt this.

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I decided to make a bag for my Featherweight sewing machine. I've been told that one should not carry the case around as the handle may break. So I bought a pattern and some gorgeous fabric. The outside of the bag is a Kaffe Fassett fabric which I love. 

The inside of the bag and the trim are bright coral. The two pieces were quilted before I cut out the bag. The pattern asked for high loft batting - I used two layers of Dream Poly. I free motioned a three petals with echoing motif.

The inside of the bag has pockets all around.


The outside of the bag has pockets on one side. I made the straps a little longer than the pattern said so I can carry it over my shoulder. 


The bag is done except for a piece of wood to put in the bottom - I'll get that one of these days. I'm happy with the finished bag but I'll NEVER used that pattern again. Sometimes it's a little hard to sew two quilted pieces together but the pattern had seams sewing 5 quilted pieces together. And when sewing one seam I had to sew across 7 layers! I tried various machines - none wanted to sew that many thicknesses but I did finally get the job done. I made a few changes to the pattern: the length of the straps, the trim on the pockets, and a case to hold the piece of wood. I wish I had realized the thickness problems before I made the bag; I would have redesigned the bag.

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The rain delay on our garage seems to be over! We lost well over a week but now things are moving forward again. The concrete for the garage pad was poured this morning. The apron and walkways are next followed by the driveway. The building of the garage will begin as soon as the concrete cures.  I think this project is going to be more involved that we originally thought - we will have a LOT of landscaping to do when the garage is finished...

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Fish Sticks, A Sweater, and A Mess!

Fish Sticks is a fun, small, donation quilt. 

The fish fabric was gifted to me as part of my friend Nancy's stash. I loved the colors so I pulled fabric from my scrap stash and made this little quilt that is about 42" square.

I used Dream Cotton Batting and orange Aurifil thread for the piecing and the quilting. The back is orange with yellow dots.

I think you can see the quilting - gentle waves crossing the quilt. I used my quilting rulers to quilt this. The binding had all the colors of the quilt - it also is from my stash.

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I finally finished the sweater that I began in January. I used Ann Budd's book, Top Down Sweaters, and made a generic raglan sleeve sweater. 


I used gray Coffee Beenz yarn by Plymouth. I think I figured out some things that should help me with my next sweater.
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We Have a MESS here! We are building a new garage or more accurately: we are having a new garage built. The driveway is being replaced too. We spent a few days emptying the garage and shed. Our screened porch is FULL of stuff. The workers began Saturday - 3 days ago. The old garage is down and gone. The driveway has also been torn up and hauled away. A couple of trees have been removed 😔. The shed will leave within the hour.  A few truckloads of gravel have just arrived and are in the driveway. If the rain will hold off, we might get forms up for the concrete tomorrow. 

Some of the driveway rubble:

The driveway before gravel:

We've had lots of BIG trucks and equipment it's very exciting and VERY dirty and dusty. We've also had LOTS to traffic on our quiet, little street - people are checking it out. I'm glad that we now have gravel - it should help with the dirt. 

On Sunday, we dug up and gave away all of the day lily plants that were along the driveway; we'll be able to enjoy them in neighbors'  yards now. Ray is concerned about our lawn and garden next to the drive. I guess we'll take care of that when this MESS is gone.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

New Appliances and Socks!

Our new stove and microwave finally arrived today. We bought them a month ago and had to wait until late last week to get the gas line run to the kitchen. 

This is a picture of the north wall of our kitchen this morning, aka BEFORE.

And this is a picture taken this afternoon, aka AFTER.

I'm excited to have a gas stove - I haven't had one since 1978. I feel like Santa's been here - or maybe it was the Easter Bunny!

For the time being, the other appliances in the kitchen do not match the new ones but the appliances on each wall do match! When the refrigerator and dishwasher need to be replaced, they will be.

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I have a knitting finish! I made these socks with Zauberball sock yarn using the pattern 8 Stitches per Inch Socks by Ann Budd. 

The socks are knit with size 1 needles.

I do love wearing hand knit socks although I'm looking forward to warmer weather and not wearing socks.

Friday, April 14, 2017

My first Kaffe Fassett quilt is done

That's right, my first Kaffe Fassett quilt is done - I'm sure there will be more! I began this one last fall prior to my clean-out-this-stash project. The top was pieced but needed quilting when I put it aside for a while.


You may remember it from a July, 2016 retreat. It needed borders.

I put on the borders in August.

Then I finally began quilting it at the end of March. Now it is finished! The quilt is 73" square. All fabric except the white and the  'plain' blue are Kaffe Fassett fabrics - all purchased on trips with some being from the Oregon coast and the rest being from Maine. The 'plain' blue fabric - centers of small motifs, square corners of larger motifs, and the binding - is from Delve in Cedar Rapids.

I'm not sure if you can see the quilting. It is all feathers in no real pattern. There are a few pebbles filling in various spots.

For the piecing and the quilting, I used Aurifil thread. Of course I used Dream Cotton batting. The back is another Kaffe Fassett fabric - orange with purple polka dots. This piece came from Missouri Star Quilt Company.

We are keeping this quilt - I love the color and it is my first Kaffe Fassett!

As I was outside in 60+ degree weather this afternoon taking photos, I decided to include a picture of part of our garden by our drive looking towards the neighbor's yard. 

Spring really has arrived! Happy Easter!

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